Chris Hughton confident Norwich City can avoid their traditional post-Christmas script
08:00 24 January 2014
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Chris Hughton is confident Norwich City can avoid their usual post-Christmas affliction and ensure a more comfortable second half to their Premier League campaign.
The Canaries’ run of two wins in 19 games last campaign, including a pointless Christmas, threatened to turn around City’s efforts from a 10-game unbeaten into top-flight relegation – until back-to-back wins rounded off the campaign.
Norwich featured little better under Paul Lambert the season before, although two wins from 12 was a run that only kicked in come February – by which time City’s Premier League status was almost certainly secured for another year. And having looked jittery again this term, Hughton’s men took victory over Hull to arrest a six-game Premier League winless run. The City boss is confident the first half of 2014 will be a different story to the last two seasons.
“You try to get as many positives as you can from any spell – good or bad,” said Hughton. “If I looked at the good spell we had before Christmas, probably the only difference was it was a fairly settled team. Sometimes that can happen and you get that bit of momentum.
“We’ve made changes since last season and we’ve brought players in, and certainly missed some of the players that have been injured. Anthony Pilkington was very much a regular during that good period last season. Jonny Howson and Alex Tettey too, who’s been a big player for us. So there are always lots of things you think about as to why you’re not having as good a spell as what you would like. But you have to be confident and continue to work to ultimately put that right.”
Hughton added: “What encourages me is what I see in the changing room. They’re a good group that really wants to do well and they’re motivated to do well.”